Friday, September 4, 2009

Here In Germany...still Lovely!

We are here two weeks already, and theres been a lot of work done and more to go. This is certainly not like my other times here. It is emotionally draining at times for both of us, more so for Gisi. Anyone who has moved from their home..apartment, state, city, country..knows the feeling. I can't imagine what it would like to be leaving the country I was born in. It takes a lot of courage, and I give Gisi a lot of credit to be able to do this. But we will get through this, and we will return to visit, of course. Meanwhile, some prayers would be good. I am doing a lot of that these days. But on to the fun bits....
We have done some local exploring which has been a lot of fun. Several trips into the Black Forest, we explored some areas we had not been to before and revisited some we had. We had some great days on the Kandel, driving through Freiamt (photos), Waldkirch and St. Peter. We hung out with Gisi's friend Brigitte, she Paraglides and introduced us to some other gliders and took us to the top of a mountain where they fly from (photos here). We drove south through the Markgr├Ąflerland, rolling hills and farms along the Rhine valley, to Weil am Rhein. This is at the border of France, Switzerland and Germany. We had a great picnic on the Batzenberg, a small mount cultivated with vineyards. We went grocery shopping in Alsace. (photos) Last night we went to a Straussi, which is a small restaurant on a farm. There are many around the area. They usually have a small, local menu of regional dishes, and local most are vineyards also. Amazingly inexpensive, and lovely in a farm setting. Real homecooked food, simple and unpretentious. And of course we spent some time walking around the city of Freiburg, going to the market (photos) and running errands in preparation of the move.
We are planning a small road trip now. On Monday we will be going to Ehingen, Gisi's home town, to visit her parents grave and make arrangements for someone to take care of it. The cemetaries and graves here are very well taken care of, and never overgrown or neglected. They are quite beutiful, and I'll have photos from this trip. After that, we go to Sei├člingen (That is not a B, it is a double s, scharfes s, as in Steisslingen), to visit Gisi's godmother Gisi, her cousin Berthold, and her Tant Irmgard. They live near the Lake of Constance, or Bodensee, so we will spend some time checking out that area. It is quite beautiful, at the southern border with Switzerland..we spent a few days there last summer. After that, we drive through Switzerland and Lichtenstein, to the north of Italy and Lago di Como, just north of Milan. I've heard from many sources how spectacular the beauty of nature is there, and can't wait to be there ourselves. Our friends Wallis and Christian were there in July and gave us a great reccomendation of a restaurant in Bellaggio. We are staying on an agriturismo farm 8km from the lake in the hills. We spend 2 nights there and hen move on to the Aosta valley at the base of some of the highest mountains in the Alps. We will be close by the Matterhorn in Switzerland and Mount Blanc in France. In 1990, I skied at Breuil Cervina near the will be interesting to revisit. And I look forward to maybe being able to go up Mt. Blanc this time (if the cable cars are running, of course). We just make a pit stop there for a night before driving into France, into the foothills of the Alps around Annecy. There is a beautiful lake there and it's an area we've not seen. We will then move into Burgundy for a trip up the Route du Vin, through all the major Burgundy wine growing appelations. We drove through last summer and it was gorgeous, hope to visit some areas we missed. From there, we head a lttle further north to Dijon where we will buy all the moutarde we can! Back to Freiburg after that for the final 2 weeks, and finishing up the packing, etc. Check out some more photos here. And here's a link to a Straussi.
Will try to post from our trip, but not sure about connections and such...Tschuss!

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